This week’s topic is one I instantly loved upon reading. As someone who spent years working black Friday and seeing it get earlier every year, I’m so pleased retailers are FINALLY coming around to closing both Thursday and Friday to encourage people to get out of the stores and into life. REI focuses on opting to get outside with their #OptOutside campaign, I couldn’t be more excited to share why I will be opting outside and encouraging you to do the same.
If you’re not working Thanksgiving or Friday, be thankful. So many people are stuck indoors or performing services and will not even have the option to Opt Outside. As someone who worked in retail forever, it was always a fun and tiring time to work Thursday night into Friday. The store managers really try to make it fun, and often bring in food, but it’s still not being home with family or out on the trail. I’m beyond thankful now that I do not have to work Thursday or Friday, and I will be damned if I am going to waste it indoors at a store to get a deal on something I do not really need.
Finances and Stuff
Do you really need that new TV? Is your old TV broken? I’m speaking from experience here, you don’t. I bought a black Friday TV once and it was completely unnecessary because it was on sale months later for the same price. Anything worth having and anything you need will be bought when it’s right. Do you need to literally push through people or wait in line to get the best deal on something that is engineered to be replaced in a few years? Aren’t there enough other deal days, and generally lower prices online regularly, anyway? I know it’s a very personal choice, but I’ve made the choice to say screw the bullshit sales and hello to my family and the local trails.
The Benefits of Nature
#OptOutside for YOU. DO IT FOR YOU. Be selfish. If you want to do it, just do it. It’s good for your health. It’s good for your spirit. There are studies underway to prove nature is good for your mental health and we know exercise is good, so get out there for YOU. I will be doing it for my mental health and for my physical health. Some family get together stress people out, use that as your reason to #OptOutside to clear your head.
I learn so much being outside - if it’s not on a sign or informational packet - it’s on my phone when I google a topic in my car at the trailhead. I learn so much about how things work, which plants are edible, which animals live where, and so on. The outdoors encourages education. Furthermore, I run into people who know much more than I do and thus learn from them. I learn from my online outdoor community too, which is how I even know about the #OptOutside idea.
#OptOutside to educate and encourage others to get outside too. Use your knowledge, if you have it, to educate and encourage others. Be the change you wish to see in the outdoor world. If you want to have better stewards of the land, we have to educate and encourage.
It’s for Everyone
You don’t need money (or a lot of money), fancy outdoor clothes, or to travel very far to #OptOutside. Anyone can get out there and enjoy the trails. Sure, scenic destinations sound great and the pictures in the marketing suggest mountains and stuff, but the local trails will do. I don’t have the time or money to head to a mountain or super scenic area, so I’ll be heading to a local state park or city park. The trail doesn’t have to be dirt to #OptOutside either, you can hit up your local paved nature true. Don’t let stereotypes or false expectations fool you into thinking you need to do one certain thing to #OptOutside.
I’d rather fight the crowds on a popular trail than the crowds at Best Buy for a cheap ass TV. #OptOutside for you health and the health of our public lands. Get out there and love life, love time spent with friends or strangers, and enjoy some fresh air. #OptOutside for your reasons and yours alone. I hope more companies give their employees days off to get out with their families and into the outdoors. Happy trails.